Salmon ex­ports head for new record

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SCOT­TISH salmon ex­ports are on course for a record break­ing year, set to ex­ceed the £500 mil­lion fig­ure reached in 2014.

The Scot­tish Salmon Pro­duc­ers’ Or­gan­isa-

tion (SSPO) an­nounced last month that ex­port sales for the first nine months of 2017 were at £483 mil­lion, up 56 per cent over the same pe­riod last year, with France over­tak­ing the US as the big­gest in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

‘We fully ex­pect to go over the £500 mil­lion mark by the end of the year – this will be a record ex­port year un­doubt­edly,’ said the SSPO’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Scott Lands­burgh.

‘And we will be the UK’s largest food ex­port by the end of the year – we are just now and we will still be.’

Look­ing ahead, he said vol­umes would be more of a chal­lenge, with pro­duc­tion lev­els in 2018 un­likely to in­crease, as farm­ers catch up with health is­sues.

How­ever, the prospects were brighter for the fol­low­ing year, with new hatch­eries com­ing on stream and a con­tin­ued move for fish to spend less time in the marine en­vi­ron­ment and more time in fresh­wa­ter.

‘I think 2019 will be fan­tas­tic for pro­duc­tion from what I’ve heard, and I think 2018 may be slightly less than this year or around about the same,’ said Lands­burgh.

The in­dus­try will come un­der height­ened scru­tiny next year when a Scot­tish par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into salmon farm­ing gets un­der­way.

This was set up fol­low­ing a pe­ti­tion launched in 2016 by the anti-farm­ing lobby group, Salmon and Trout Con­ser­va­tion Scot­land, and will be con­ducted by the Ru­ral Econ­omy and Con­nec­tiv­ity Com­mit­tee.

The com­mit­tee’s con­venor, Ed­ward Moun­tain (Con­serva- tive MSP for the High­lands and Is­lands), was one of two Holy­rood politi­cians to ac­cept Lands­burgh’s in­vi­ta­tion, is­sued be­fore the sum­mer, to visit salmon farms and see how they op­er­ate.

Moun­tain and the SNP’s Ste­wart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) toured Wester Ross Salmon in Au­gust, said Lands­burgh.

‘There is quite a lot of work go­ing on in the back­ground to pre­pare the ground for the aqua­cul­ture in­quiry,’ he said, adding that he ex­pected the com­mit­tee would start in mid-March.

The sec­tor is due to es­tab­lish a 10-year fish health strat­egy with Marine Scot­land be­fore the in­quiry be­gins.

Above: UK’s largest food ex­port

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.